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Publicity Stunts / In Game promotions and sales + marketing of hockey

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  • reorgman
    ... I am not as familiar - as a fan - with minor league situations - for example - will a winning team guarantee a sustained draw at the box office in a small
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 11, 2006
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      --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, Eric L <ironxfan@...> wrote:
      > Larry, I concur with your view on publicity stunts. With the AHL,
      >and other minors having little to no national exposure (i.e.
      >national TV rights) they have to draw fans somehow.

      I am not as familiar - as a fan - with minor league situations - for
      example - will a winning team guarantee a sustained draw at the box
      office in a small city ? If not - then the team's owners have to
      do what they have to do. Even if they have to get Eddie Gaedel IV
      to suit up for a game :)

      And for Ralph's question - and I love the hockeydb.com webpage by
      the way !! - I think you have to document what actually happens
      regardless of personal feelings. I respect the opinions
      of "purists" and those who have pride in the game as well. Hockey
      is not perfect. Demand for the product is not what we all wish it
      could be. I think the stunts should be recorded - and maybe we can
      learn from it.

      I was at the Toronto - NYI game at Nassau Coliseum last night. One
      of the execs in my company came down from Canada with his whole
      family - and we had rows of empty seats to choose from to sit a
      group of 12 together with no sweat. ( making my forthcoming point)

      We talked about a lot of non-hockey stuff - such as the condition of
      the Nassau Coliseum as a building - but what he went on a whole
      diatribe about was the in-game promotions the team had. Chicken
      Wing eating contests - the use of the "Pepsi Ice Girls" to clean the
      ice and other stunts like football catching contests on the ice.... -
      that " a real hockey team would not do this type of thing".

      Now Long Island is a market that will respond to a winning team -
      something missing by and large over the last 13 years + The
      promotions do add value - especially to non-hockey fans who get
      tickets from work - and you get them in your building....what people
      have to understand is that ideally - the team works real hard to
      identify people like this and get them to buy a ticket to another

      I remember attending a program 10 years ago when the guest speaker
      was the GM or CFO of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He explained the use
      of promotions and their intent.

      In the case of the Pirates - They were targeting the fan who
      attended "2.4" baseball games per year. Someone who shows an
      interest in the game - but is somewhat of a casual fan. Some fans
      are core baseball fans to whom a price break could appeal - some
      were people who were not baseball fans - but looking for a good time.

      Their target was to get people to attend 2 more game per year than
      they were currently. If so - it would represent somewhat north of
      an 800,000 fan increase in attendance.

      Promotions were used to make this happen. It worked like a charm in
      ceratin cases - not so good in others. Even teams like the Yankees
      and the Mets use promotions to gain attendence. Fireworks Night at
      Shea Stadium around the 4th of July is a sellout - even when the
      team has been the "dregs".

      My favorite promotion story was back on Long Island circa 1999 or so.

      The team had the initial "Beanie Baby" or "Bobblehead" giveaway. --
      I am 90% sure it was a "Beanie Baby".....and allegedly - the beanie
      baby was unique and only given out at this game.

      A lot of the housewives in my neighborhood called my wife to ask if
      they could get the tickets to the game. ( Season Ticket holder)

      I KNOW that the game sold out - and the line to get in the building
      was L O N G. Know what happened in MANY cases ? The fans got the
      beanie baby 10 mins before the game - and just left.

      If I recall correctly - the Coliseum holds 16,234 for hockey -
      maybe 10 - 11 K went to the game - and most cleared out after the
      first period - as it was a school night.

      I know Eric (Forever 1940) might be able to back me up here....but
      its a funny story.

      Ralph writes:

      >I think that some of these leagues are cheapening their product by

      This is a "sad but true" statement. Not every team can go 80-0
      during the year and pack the fans in. Bills must be paid, tickets
      must be sold, hot dogs must be sold. Players must be paid.....and
      whilst I agree that in a perfect world - all 30 NHL teams and all
      minor league teams would have HUGE demands for the product and make
      money hand over fist.

      But as was the case with my friend at last night's game - while he
      was stewing over the chicken wing eating contest - his 2 young
      daughters rather enjoyed it. They want to come back for another
      game. Isn't that what its all about.

      I see no reason why my "purist" friend can't turn a blind eye to
      the "chicken wing eating contest" and focus on the hockey - and the
      girls can enjoy things like Mascots, promotions and by sticking
      around long enough - learn to appreciate the game. Marketing is a
      hard job. For the " already converted" - its not needed. but guess
      what? They already have made the sale to you.

      Sorry if I went on a different tangent. I consider myself
      a "purist" who enjoys the chicken wing eating contests and the "Ice
      Girls" - and also enjoys it EVEN MORE when his Ranger and Leaf fan
      friends complain about it !

      I think "Original Six" fans ( with possible exception of Chicago -
      where the Wirtz family has ruined it) have a bit of a "holier than
      thou" attitude towards the expansion teams.....which I say they lost
      the right to complain once they cashed the league entry fee checks
      the expansion teams wrote.

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